18 April, 2017
Remember that title. The author is Robert MacFarlane, and I've not read a finer book about landscape, and our own place in it.
Phrases like: '...where the sea shampooed the rocks...'
Or: '...the moor has the appearance of chamois leather.'
Or: '...yachts white as toothpaste.'
It's divine, and diverse, with MacFarlane trekking and sailing the faint paths of earlier pilgrims and traders, describing his progress from the Orkneys to Tibet. Truth be told I'm growing steadily reluctant to reach the journey's end.
Though by way of compensation, the book's endpages include a splendid glossary of terrain terms, which I've sampled below. See who can clue these geo-gems the best, serving up both definition and wordplay. Set the pace:
bealach - pass between two hills
carr - fen with low bushes
currach - wickerwork boat
eoliths - stones bearing evidence of ancient workings
ghillie - fishing guide
guga - young gannet
immram - wonder-voyage
machair - coastal grassland
mycelia - fungal network of delicate filaments
qasr - stone tower
sarsen - isolated boulder on a chalk down
stravaig - to meander
zawn - sea-cliff's fissure
Enjoy your clues - and the views (if you get round to MacFarlane's stravaigs).